The faces of those in the U.S. who have served and who are serving in the military have changed over the years since World War I. However, the stories, the aftermath and the demand for care remains the same.
Veterans are living on streets while buildings donated to the VA stand vacant. There are no funds for the veterans or for the revamping for the buildings and health care centers for the veterans. In many cases, Veterans are living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in unsafe conditions. These factors increase the deterioration of quality of life, making it difficult to impossible for Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to fit back into the work force and the community.
There are a growing number of troops suffering from nightmares, stress disorders, depression and memory loss. According to a June 7, 2010 Web MD Health News article by Salynn Boyles and reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Linked to Dementia Study Shows Veterans With PTSD More Likely to Develop Alzheimer's Later in Life.
Symptoms of PTSD may mimic early stage Alzheimer’s. In some cases, Veteran patients with cognitive impairment are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s due to the similarities of symptoms and test. Other patients may be suffering from Alzheimer’s as a result of PTSD.
Medications that treat patients with Alzheimer’s may also alleviate and control symptoms of patients with PTSD. Health care professionals may prescribe anti-depressants and /or anti-anxiety drugs to persons with either Alzheimer’s or PTSD. The same medications that are prescribed for memory loss in persons with Alzheimer’s may also alleviate cognitive impairment in PTSD.
There have also been studies that have raised the question of a connection between PTSD and Vascular Dementia. Since stress and horrific events are related to heart disease, there may be some truth to this theory.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder suffered by Veterans is not just a mental or emotional disorder that can be treated and forgotten. It can be treated to alleviate symptoms and return the patient to work and a better quality of life.
Connect with a Veteran today. Learn about PTSD and support legislation for education, assistance and research into health job and housing issues for Veterans.
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United States Veteran’s Affairs Battle Creek, Michigan VA Medical Center
To schedule an appointment for evaluation or for more information, please have your health care provider call the PTSD clinic at: 269-966-5600, extension 31173.